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ACE Spectrum

 

Ace Spectrum is about you — the ACE Learning Centers.
It’s a quick sharing of ideas, inspiration, opinions and best practices among our continuing education organizations.

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Arf! It’s Poem in Your Pocket Day and I’m Rapping You a Treat

Posted by on Apr 27, 2017 in ACE Learning Center, ACE Partners, Continuing Education | 0 comments

By Riley, ACE Poetry Contest Mascot Who Hangs Out at Alpha Public Schools

It’s Poem in Your Pocket Day, so share that poem! Are!

Today is my favorite day of National Poetry Month. It’s Poem in Your Pocket Day. The day you carry a poem in your pocket and read it to anyone you want. Friends, family, maybe that sad person who looks like they need a poem treat.

You know me. I’ll do most anything for a treat. Just ask John. He’s my main treat giver and friend. I’ve taught him everything he knows about giving treats, especially generosity. Yup, I gotta earn those treats, but he is generous when he gives ‘em.

Plus, he takes me to fun places. Like this snowy spot where he throws snowballs at me to catch. Pretty fun. I love making those snowballs explode.  Check it out! Riley Snowball.MOV

It’s cool how much you can learn from each other. Breakfast, the ACE Poetry Contest Mascot at Oakland International High School, showed me a really cool video of a rap the kids did about determination. It was in yesterday’s ACE Spectrum blog post, and is pretty inspiring.

So inspiring that I wrote my own doggerel rap. I just made doggerel rap a thing. It’s my personal Poem in my Paw-ket. Arf!

Riley Rap

The secret to success is to not back down. To see the ball. To watch the ball. To follow the ball. Never take eyes off the ball. ‘Till ya get to the ball. And ya pick up the ball and ya shake the ball. Shake shake the ball. Shake shake that ball. Cause it’s your ball now and you’re off the leash and you’ve won the ball. It’s your ball now and you’ve worked hard to get that ball.

Even though I’m a dog
I wanna break the leash
I wanna chase the ball
I wanna catch it all
I wanna be my best
Let me be my best
You let me be my best
Then the winning starts
For me, for you
For everyone
‘Cause I’m gonna catch it all

The secret to success is to not back down. You want that treat, ya gotta work fur that treat. Ya gotta do something good to be earning that reward. But it don’t come free, just ask me. I work for my treats all the time. Gotta put up with commands and rules that I hate. Like sit stay come and no no no. But I look at commands like a way to show that I’m in the know. That I learned what I need and beyond what I need to earn success in getting those treats.

Even though I’m a dog
I wanna break the leash
I wanna chase the ball
I wanna catch it all
I wanna be my best
Let me be my best
You let me be my best
Then the winning starts
For me, for you
For everyone
‘Cause I’m gonna catch it all

I’m still rocking after writing this. Rocking for treats. Hear that John?

Good luck to all the poets who entered the ACE Poetry Contest. We look forward to the winner’s poems. So remember, treat yourself to a poem. Arf! Arf!

“Ain’t Gonna Back Down” is Oakland International High School’s Cat’s Meow of Poetry Rap

Posted by on Apr 26, 2017 in ACE Learning Center, ACE School Report, Continuing Education | 0 comments

By Breakfast, ACE Poetry Contest Mascot, Oakland International High School, assisted by Sailaja Suresh, Director, Oakland International High School Learning Lab

My new cat call is “Ain’t gonna back down.” Listen to the video – it’ll be yours too!

At Oakland International High School, all of our students are recently arrived immigrants. They have come here from over 30 different countries and are eager to learn, to grow, and to succeed in their new home in Oakland. Meow!

Their story is the story of America, of building new lives, of dreaming, of working hard and finding success against all odds. Our ACE Learning Center and classes provide our students and their families with the support and knowledge they need to be successful here in the United States.

Most recently, Lin-Manuel Miranda put Alexander Hamilton‘s immigrant story into the public narrative, through Hamilton: An American Musical. It is about the founding and creation of our young country and the countless contributions that young, dedicated, brilliant immigrants have made to our nation.

Last month, our 11th graders had the opportunity to travel to San Francisco to watch Hamilton and to engage with the history of our country through their own stories as immigrants. Our students wrote their stories and produced raps and songs about their experiences. Sathusha, a Tamil speaker from Malaysia, and Dah May, a Karen refugee from Thailand, produced this rap called, “Ain’t Gonna Back Down.”

I guarantee it’s going to be the most awesome thing you see all day. We’re so proud of them and of all of our students’ hopes, dreams, and dedication, we just had to share this with you all.

Check it out here. “Ain’t gonna back down” will by your new cat call.

There’s Poetry in Learning a New Language at Alpha Parent Center

Posted by on Apr 24, 2017 in ACE Learning Center, ACE School Report, Continuing Education | 0 comments

By Riley, ACE Poetry Contest Mascot, Assisted by Adrian Parra Salas, Teacher, ESL for Spanish Speakers at Alpha Parent Center

See, if you learn a new word, you get a treat!

Learning another language is difficult. Just ask John, my friend who hangs out with me and gives me treats. He is getting much better at understanding dog language, but it’s hard work. He had to learn how to say, “Do you want a pet? Do you want a treat? Do you want a walk? Do you want outside?” And he had to understand the words when I say, “Sit John. Go play John. Good boy John.”

John’s a fast learner, just like many of the parents at the Alpha Parent Center who are learning English. It takes dedication and commitment to learn a new language, and these parents are working it. They come to the Alpha Parent Center, an ACE Learning Center, several times a week to learn English words and how to put those words into sentences so they can communicate and make conversation. Arf! Not easy.

Riley says, “Even parents at the Alpha Parent Center use technology to learn English.”

And guess what? They are writing poetry as part of my contest – the ACE Poetry Contest. How cool is that? Alpha parents are writing poetry in English, a new language to them.

But that’s what poetry is all about. It’s hard to write poetry that tells a story and evokes a thoughtful message. It’s especially hard to write poetry in an unfamiliar language. But that’s the poetry of language. It can communicate thoughtful messages to create insightful moments to people around the world.

My friend Mr. Adrian has captured some of these Alpha Parent learning moments in video clips that you can see below. He made lots of clips, so this is just the first of them that he asked me to share with you. Watch them because it shows the poetry of learning language. (I’ll have to see if Mr. Parra can film my friend John as he learns how to give me treats more often.)

Check out this video:  IMG_0013

And this one:  IMG_0065

Don’t forget to treat your self to a poem. And look out – this Thursday, April 27, is Poem in Your Pocket Day.